Monday, January 23, 2012

Effectiveness of hyaluronic acid injections - placebo?

A recent JBJS study, "Intra-articular injection of hyaluronic Acid is not superior to saline solution injection for ankle arthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study." A strong placebo effect from injections of saline concluded that "We found that a single intra-articular injection of low-molecular-weight, non-cross-linked hyaluronic acid is not demonstrably superior to a single intra-articular injection of saline solution for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the ankle."

While the ankle is not the shoulder it is interesting that the effect of a single injection was not significantly more effective than saline. The authors did refer to a large study of hyaluronic acid for shoulder pain with 200 randomized patients that found that the improvement in the saline solution placebo group was less than that in the hyaluronic acid treatment groups for shoulders with arthritis.

We previously posted some other articles on injections for shoulder arthritis, that you may enjoy reading.


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